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Posted Tue Mar 17 2009: from Reuters:
Facemasks may help shield the heart from pollution
Heavy air pollution can have immediate effects on the heart and blood vessels, but a simple facemask may offer some protection, new research suggests. In one study, researchers found that when young men were exposed to air polluted with diesel exhaust, their arteries temporarily stiffened. Meanwhile, a second study showed that healthy adults had higher blood pressure and a less healthy heart-rate pattern when they walked through the streets of Beijing without a facemask. The good news, the study found, was that the cardiovascular effects were diminished when volunteers donned a facemask like those worn by construction workers to keep from breathing dust.
[Read more stories about: airborne pollutants]

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